Blowin’ In The Wind

Last evening after work I headed from my office in Irvine toward a poetry meetup in the city of Orange. I had my navigator on and was listening to oldies tunes in between the directions. Nav was telling me to get on the 55 in some convoluted way, but I’ve learned not to argue with her. Just follow along, like a sheep, baaaa.

As I was driving on Warner, I noticed there was something taped low on the passenger side of my windshield. An ad? Not sure. Usually ads are stuffed under the wiper on the driver’s side to make sure you see them, plus this looked too small to be an ad. I didn’t think it had been there in the morning when I drove to work ~ surely I would have spotted it then. But perhaps not, who knows.

I remembered that the homeless dude who keeps his stuff in one of the storage cabinets at my apartment complex left a note on my car a few weeks ago thanking me for letting him use my cabinet. First, I haven’t “let” anyone do anything; I simply didn’t shriek at him to go away like my neighbor did when she encountered him. I just shrugged when I saw him and got in my car. Second, it’s not my cabinet he’s using. Third, when he left a note, it was on a ripped piece of cardboard sitting on top of my trunk, not something taped to my window. This of course doesn’t preclude a leveling up of note-leaving by said homeless dude, so we can’t rule it out.

I didn’t go out at lunch yesterday, so the note (or whatever) couldn’t have been left from an advertiser in the shopping plaza nearby. If it was from someone like that, s/he would have been sneaking around a private garage during the workday, which is unlikely, but not impossible. Someone who has legit parking privileges could also moonlight as an Avon rep or whatever and be leaving ads on cars in the garage, I guess, though it’s probably against the rules.

Or… it could have been a nastygram from someone who found fault with my driving or parking, sort of a prelude to the guy who yelled at me later in the evening for parking on a street near the poetry place without a permit. I had to get back in my car and repark on a different street. What a pain in the ass that all was, but… pomes!

But my favorite idea is this… imagine that some man has had a crush on me (shaddap! it could happen!)… he sees me in the garage at work from time to time. Maybe he sees me stop at the cafe for a coffee and has been in line too. Perhaps he’s held the door for me and I’ve said thank you, but haven’t really noticed him. We may have taken the same elevator together, or maybe he works on a higher floor and uses the other elevator bank. Could be he doesn’t always get to work at the same time every day like I do, but he does know my car now. He decided that the next time he sees me he’s going to say something, but our schedules haven’t meshed for a while. So, he left me a note! It was something cute, witty, with a pic, contact info, whatever, idk. Nothing creepy.

All the above went through my mind in about two seconds and I decided I should pull over and retrieve the note. Because obviously it was from a secret admirer. Right?! Yes, yes. But I was in the left lane, and before I could move to the right and find a place to stop, the note detached and blew away.

The end.

secret-admirer

Blurry

blurry

This is one of my early cell phone camera photos, taken with my Moto. I loved that phone because it was so easy to deal with. It had internet access, but I couldn’t do “too much” internetting on it, or it would get overwhelmed and shut down. That was fine though. There was certainly enough time to stalk people and rabbit-hole down links from my laptop at home; I didn’t need to be doing that when I was out and about. But I can now with my Samsung Galaxy 5. Great.

The G5 also takes much better photos. Well, sort of. If I get everything right, then I end up with a perfect photo. But since I don’t understand 90% of the feechurs, and can’t be bothered trying to figure them out because there are people to stalk, links to follow into rabbit holes, books to read, pomes to write, socks to alphabetize, etc., I end up clicking away stupidly and getting pretty much the same variable quality photos as before on the Moto. Lots of blurry kitty faces half-turned away, basically.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m much happier with the Samsung now and wouldn’t go back. Once you have more technology you don’t want to settle for less. I have multiple ways to get in touch with my kids, for one thing. Actually, that’s the main thing.

But this pic is still a fave. I like the colors and the composition; it reminds me of the hectic pace here in SoCal. Most of us are not “laid-back” as people elsewhere think we are, lazing around on beaches, not working, chilled out. We are forever rushing somewhere, usually in our cars, and totes stressed. I used this pic as the cover photo for Gatsby’s Facebook page. Because of course I have a page for my cat. ^..^

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Blur

Stormy Weather

When SoCal finally decides to name a tropical storm, it doesn’t fuck around with Jasons and Jennifers from the baby name book. It goes straight to the big leagues.

Say hello to LUCIFER.

What’s weird is that after naming the storm Lucifer, hardly any of the news stories refer to it by name. But rest assured… it haz one. Here in Orange County we had our issues with Lucifer as well, beginning with loads of rain and massive wind all day yesterday, flooding, accidents, power outages, etc., and this morning there’s a steady rain that supposedly will end in the afternoon. I don’t plan to leave my apartment until then. I feel very lucky that my commute home from work at 6pm yesterday was relatively uneventful and that my power stayed on all night. Apparently it takes a storm of this magnitude to finally get OC drivers to slow down and be careful. I’m sure that they’ll be back to their usual horrible ways today.

How is all this rain lately affecting my migraines? Well, thank you for asking! I seem to have adapted to the new Seattle-esque climate zone that’s hanging out in SoCal and the year has been OK so far, but this week was pretty bad and shows no sign yet of abating. Makes sense though… I mean, LUCIFER, right? This isn’t some piddly little raincloud. I’ve had a stiff neck for days ~ well, I call it a “stiff neck,” but that isn’t entirely accurate and makes me sound like I might have meningitis. It’s more like swollen glands than a stiff neck… the blood vessels are swollen under my jaw and behind my ears. That all makes my entire neck ache, plus I have the bad spot in the back of my neck that always hurts more or less, usually more, where my head was put on backwards (hey, that’s what the doctor said; I don’t make this shit up). So, it’s easier just to say my neck hurts. Usually, if the swelling doesn’t go down via caffeine or on its own, it will progress to trigger a migraine. At that point, I can take Excedrin migraine and/or a sumatriptan tablet, or try to tough it out.

Yesterday, I gave in and took Sudafed again (first time in a couple weeks) because of sinus pain. It helped. But I don’t like doing that unless I abso have to because it makes me all zoomy and unfocused at the same time. It’s a fine line between the pain being so intense I can’t focus on work and the Sudafed making me too jittery to focus properly. But things went OK after I took it. And it didn’t affect my sleep last night because I took it very early in the day. Lately I seem to sleep like so: 3-hour block, 2-hour block, 1-hour block. Done. That works out well and I feel rested enough. I used to make the mistake of getting up before the last block, which is not good. I need all three.

I realize this poast is unbearably fascinating, but guess what? The sun just came out! 😀

Woohoo!!!

Not that I’ll probably do anything different, or go outside yet, but still.

sun-storm

The Abyss of Anonymity

Remember Usenet? Some of us were totally anonymous there, while others were semi-anon. Diligent doxxers (or whatever we called it back then) could ferret out real-life info if they really tried, but most were content to snark and bicker with the screen names given and mockeries thereof. I recall that some of the “real writers” bitched that others weren’t using their “real names” and this was a major issue. I don’t remember why exactly… something about not standing behind your words yada yada. If you’re gonna give an opinion about cheese, goddammit, be prepared to put your job and PTA rep on the line!

Many of those cheese convos became quite hot and gooey with lots of nasty words flung about and peeps wanted to know who, exactly, was calling them a smelly old chunk of limburger. There’s a common idea that you wouldn’t say such a thing face to face, that it’s easy to call someone a SOCOL in an online forum where you feel safe behind a screen, but you wouldn’t say that at your neighborhood block party. It’s the same reason why you find horrible flaming in the comments to news articles online when the sites allow anonymous handles, but much less so when they force you to use your Facebook name. Most people don’t bother having fake Facebook names to use for assholetry.

So, I was thinking about this wrt my last poast and the comments thereto. What makes some peeps on dating sites behave so abysmally, with no concern how their actions affect others? Yeah, yeah, there are jerks who stay jerks wherever they are, right… but why does it seem that the dating sites have such a high percentage of them? Well, I think it’s the same reason as why people were so mean on Usenet and why people are so vicious in comments after news articles ~ it’s the perceived safety and emotional distance given by the screen, whether you’re posting or messaging or commenting or texting. You forget that you’re actually interacting with another human being on the other side. It’s not a video game.

I even think this is why people behave so horribly on the road. It’s easy to honk and curse at people you don’t know. You hope the guy you just gave the finger to isn’t the dude who is interviewing you in a half hour, yah?

Unfortunately, I believe this problem will get worse not better, with more people working remotely and interacting less and less with actual humans face to face and more and more with screens and teleconferencing and whatnot. Personally, I like the routine of going into an office every day and seeing real live humans out of their cages and doing things.

Kindness has been underrated all along. Perhaps this is my karma. So be it.

abyss

A Ghost Story

ghost

It’s been a while since I’ve subjected regaled my peeps with a dating story. Technically speaking, this will be a non-dating story, as you will see as events unfold… or rather, as they don’t.

A man introduced himself to me last fall on POF. Casper wasn’t a great match, in my opine, kind of a hippy dippy “420” dude, but then again my judgment sucks in this area, as we have established. He was cute, but his profile text was short and silly, plus he didn’t appear to have any kind of j-o-b that I could ascertain. But he liked Ren Faires, so OK, I responded.

Casper’s messages would come in a flurry and then disappear altogether. Just when I thought he’d moved on… there he was again, interested in me. Since I’m in favor of reliability and stability, this flitting in and out was a turnoff. I quit talking to him unless I was bored. At one point we exchanged phone numbers. He called and left a message while I was at dinner or something. I called back the next day and left him a message. Then we texted a few times and it all faded away.

But after the New Year I heard from him again, via text, one afternoon. Casper said hello, etc., and suggested that we make a plan to get together. We texted for a bit and he sent a cute new photo of himself. I’d had a pretty crappy Thanksgiving on, in the romance area, so why the hell not? Maybe meeting a man who was not from my usual pool of tortured geniuses was just the ticket. I agreed and Casper said he’d call me that night.

But then something happened and he couldn’t call, a “meeting,” traffic, yada. So I called him the next night. But he couldn’t call me back and texted another weird excuse. I texted back a cheerful message in the morning. And guess what? Casper disappeared yet again. Just like that. Poof! In the dating world, we call that “ghosting.” And I’ve done it too, when it’s obvious after a meeting that there was no chemistry, or when a man is behaving badly, but HE resumed contact with ME, so… what was the point of all this goofery?

Maybe he was married or living with someone and she caught wind of his fooling around, or wannabe fooling. Maybe he found someone else who lived closer or was into “420” or whatever. But why bother deliberately texting me after the New Year to say he wanted to meet, only to ghost again? I’ve blocked him now, no worries.

Stupid games and lies from 50-something year old men, ugh. Grow the hell up.

Crafty

crafty

 

I’m trying to remember the first handmade thing I created, in response to today’s “craft” prompt (which could be interpreted as boat or beer, but I’m not going in those directions). It was probably one of those ridiculous summer camp pencil holders made out of a frozen OJ can with glued-on popsicle sticks and covered with paint and glitter. Did anyone ever use these things, or just dump them right in the trash? This would have been when I was 6 or 7 years old, when we lived in Sleepy Hollow,  NY. We were there two years and both my parents worked full-time. One summer I went to camp with mean girls and the other I stayed with a grumpy old lady and her idiot grandsons. Both were horrible experiences. But I digress.

When we moved to Longuyland my new friends were into beads, so I made a ton of beady necklaces and bracelets. My mom saved some of them and possibly one of my daughters kept a few for sentimental value. This would have been when I was 8-9.

When we moved to New Jersey my mom made a giant house for my Barbies out of moving boxes and wallpapered it to match my room. We shopped for accessories to make rooms for the dolls, and she taught me how to knit and crochet so I could make teensy blankets and rugs for them. Later I turned it into a harem, but that’s beside the point. Well, there’s like one Ken for every 20 Barbies ~ Mattel must have foreseen this. Anyway, creating little dollhouse items was my crafty obsession around age 10.

In Jersey, my mom got very into DIY and sewing, so I tagged along and ended up learning some too. I embroidered a denim shirt for home ec and put together an outfit to model at the end of the semester (that I secretly took home at night for my mom to fix up on her sewing machine). I enjoyed that a lot and continued doing needlework after the class ended, buying kits and learning new stitches, making pillows and pictures. Mom and I made candles for a while too.

I stuck with the sewing type crafts for many years. When my girls were little I painted tee shirts. That was a lot of fun and the shirts came out great… I was thinking of starting a biz, until I overdid it and could no longer move my thumb without excruciating pain. Nixed my cake decorating career also. I switched to creating fancy photo scrapbooks, which became my obsession for the next several years. All along I still did the needlework, but as I aged I found I had less patience for it and nowadays have no interest in the detailed “art” type pictures, though I still would like to learn to knit and crochet (I’ve forgotten how). I know there are a million vids ~ maybe I’m not motivated enough yet.

One of the main problem with crafts is that they’re expensive. I priced out how much it would cost to knit a poncho (my ultimate goal)… and depending on the style it might be about 3x more than just buying one! I may do it anyway. And going down the bead path again (occasionally tempting)… yikes! I spent a ton of money back in my scrapbook days… and my tee shirt biz would no doubt have been a tax write-off. 🙂

Yesterday I wanted to go to an antique crafty show near my apt, but there was nowhere to park and I was trapped in the lot for few minutes, which was super stressful. ACK DRIVING ISSUES AGAIN. Anyway, I was happy to escape with my life and car intact. Will try again another time, another place.

*
Via The Daily Prompt: Craft

Drive Me Crazy

No matter how I try to mitigate them, the stresses of driving constantly get to me. How I loved those Chicago days of freedom from auto ownership. Get on a bus or train, arrive at your destination, don’t worry about where to park and how to find your car again later. If it was late when the event let out, grab a cab. Boom!

The main joy was never having to interact with the dangerous, reckless idiots on the road, the tailgaters and red light runners, the jerks who cut you off on the freeway, the morons who weave in and out, etc. You paid the bus driver to deal with all that and sat back with some tunes in your ears. Sweet!

Weekends aren’t so bad because I don’t actually have to do anything by car if I really don’t want to, but I’d say 2-3 days a week I experience at least one stressful commute event. Probably most people get used to it, but I keep thinking about it and wishing there was a convenient way I could commute by public transit the way I did in Chicago. My car just sits in a garage all day at work anyway ~ it’s not like I need it there for anything.

I wish I still lived in a city that had a good public transportation system so I didn’t have to rely on my car to get everywhere. Even if it were impractical to give up a car completely, it would be so nice not to have to use it daily. But realistically this will most likely be possible only after I retire and can get away from the madness of Orange County. The sprawl of L.A. isn’t much better ~ it would be tough to give up a car there too, even though they do have buses and trains.

I suppose the next best thing would be to live in a place that simply isn’t so damn crowded and hectic all the time. I have this vague idea to visit some cities soon with the idea of scouting out some possible retirement locales. We’ll see if that happens… most of my “vague ideas” float off to the Island of Lost Socks. But I will have to plan something, and earlier is better, as far as planning goes. I can’t afford to stay in O.C. when I retire.

In the meantime, I’m back to commuting via the Pacific Coast Highway ~ takes about 10 minutes longer each way than the freeway, but it’s less stressful. I just can’t deal with these awful freeway tailgaters for a while. I’m still traumatized by the hit and runner last year ~ yes, I’m a special snowflake and freak out from the stresses of the road, waaah. Whatever.

snowflake

 

Games People Play

I’ve been thinking of doing a themed playlist: songs about games. Help me out in comments with moar tuneful ideas… card games, board games, sp0rts, etc.!

1. Games People Play ~ Alan Parsons Project

2. Mind Games ~ John Lennon

3. Head Games ~ Foreigner

4. Games without Frontiers ~ Peter Gabriel

5. I Lost on Jeopardy ~ Weird Al

6. One Night in Bangkok ~ Murray Head (about chess)

7. Centerfield ~ John Fogerty

8. Boys of Summer ~ Don Henley

9. The Gambler ~ Kenny Rogers

10. Solitaire ~ The Carpenters (love their version best… check out this great vid!)

 

The Discredit Police

ticket

I’ve noticed that anytime anyone (or a group) does anything for a cause, however large or small, it doesn’t take long for the Discredit Police to show up with a stern reprimand and ticket book in hand. The DP are bipartisan, so no worries on that score. Feel free to provide your own examples in comments.

Peeps want to improve the lives of animals.
Discredit Police: Hey! Don’t you know there are kids suffering? Why aren’t you helping them? Obviously you value animal lives more than human lives!

U.S. women organize out of concern that a new administration will tread on their rights.
Discredit Police: Yoo hoo! Women have even fewer rights in Saudi Arabia! Why aren’t you saying anything about that? Clearly you don’t care about all women.

Someone feels more secure by stockpiling essentials in case of disaster.
Discredit Police: Don’t you know that you’re more likely to die by slipping and falling in the bathtub? You’re just wasting a bunch of time and money on this silliness!

I don’t know why some people turn into the irksome Discredit Police, but they just love to butt in and tell you that whatever thing you’re trying to accomplish is actually a pile of dog poop. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid that your good deed will somehow affect them negatively. Oh gosh, if she really does succeed in helping animals, that might raise the price on something I need, yipes. Or deep down they worry that they should also be doing what you’re doing but are too lazy, so instead they’ll pee all over it. Gah, I should probably stock up in case of disaster too, but I’d rather sit here, drink beer, and watch the game, so I’ll say it’s a stupid thing to make myself feel better. Whew!

So, be an adult and address the actual concern instead of throwing a tantrum and acting like a brat. If you can’t do that, there’s always another option when you’re confronted with something that you don’t feel like participating in: keeping quiet. 😀

~*~

Via The Daily Prompt: Irksome

Kiss Me ~ I’m Irish

The first clue should have been that I vastly prefer shamrock-shaped sugar c00kies to those Dutch windmill things. Plus I’ve always loved green, all shades, from iced lime to deep forest to teal. Love rainbows, adore Enya, gravitate to Irish names for characters in my fiction, etc.

Why?

Because I’m a quarter Irish, that’s why!

My whole life I’ve been telling people, when they ask that pesky question “wut are you?” that I’m Russian (Ashkenazi Jewish) and Dutch, but the Dutch part is wrong. Wrong! Yet that’s what I was told, and indeed my mother had a Dutch maiden name. Sometimes the actual DNA tests yield surprising results however. Turns out I have zero, zilch, not even a trace, of genetic stuffs from the Netherlands. Zipperooni. My paternal side is accounted for with the European Jewish coming in at 52% (a two percent bonus from my mom’s side!), but my maternal — > paternal alleged Dutch heritage… nut&honey. And truth be told, I wouldn’t mind so much not being genetically related to the person who I thought was my mother’s father. Let’s leave it at that. Perhaps my grandmother had an Irish mailman… and he rang twice.

Irish! How fun is this!? No wonder I always lurved St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish comes in at 26% actually, with the rest as traces from Italy/Greece, Eastern Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, and Scandinavia. Nothing else. Funny how I was never interested in this stuff when my mother was collecting dribs and drabs of information, old newspaper articles, and whatnot, but this? This is SCIENCE. So I like it.

It amuses me to no end to recall those dreary dates when men would ask me my heritage, and I would answer with the Russian/Dutch… and it turns out to be wrong. Wrong! Would it have made a diff if I’d said I was a quarter Irish? Would I have bonded with an Irishman? Would he have taken me home to see his Celtic knots? Lawl.

Hey, I get to make Irish jokes now. I’m one of the tribe… er clan. Whatever. This opens up a whole new world of comedic possibilities!

hat